Saturday, October 05, 2013

Rogue software - increasing scale and scope of danger

Some software is originally written for rogue purposes. Other software is later manipulated to change its purpose to include a rogue element to other innocuous software. Sometimes good software may degenerate and become rogue (from an outcome perspective) if it is difficult to correct the degeneration for some reason and one has to plan service around the rogue element

As the software density of the technosphere around humans increases, the number and significance of rogue elements of software in the technosphere for individual humans and for humanity as a whole continues to rise. Every individual already spends on preventing rogue elements like viruses/personal-data-gatherers in PC, laptop, phones already and as software becomes more embedded in consumer products and the connectedness of such software increases, the prevalence of such rogue elements will spread to them too. Most enterprises already spend money on preventing rogue software which aims to steal data and/or source code (intellectual property). Governments are setting up arms to defend countries against rogue software.

What a waste! A humanity which is not able to organise its affairs to feed some of itself, despite having the natural resources and technology to do so will definitely degenerate to increased spend on rogue software, rather than solve the real problems of humanity. As a representative of some of the most disadvantaged people in time and space, I get infuriated with the continuing inability of humanity to sort itself out. Our leaders are unenlightened idiots barely able to see and think beyond the tip of their respective noses and our systems of governance do not create the pressure for them to focus on the real problems of humanity. Islands of selfishness effectively sustain their greenery and labour prices by exporting pollution and labour exploitation to other islands and continents and yet boast about being global leaders. Technology is being wielded as a tool of exploitation under the name of more fanciful terminology and rogue software is a world domination tool. It is a tool to wreak invisible violence on individuals, firms, nations, humanity. Law and its enforcement agencies and higher level institutions are yet to evolve to catch, punish, prevent rogue software. What a waste!

As I mentioned elsewhere, the vulnerability of small and large scale software systems in our technosphere and the tendency to leak knowledge about software will result in humanity creating monsters and losing control through wilful actions by empire-builders and/or negligent actions by others. We are going to leave our progeny with a much more complex world in terms of relationships between cause and effect unless we find a new base for our legal systems, so that they prevent these things from happening. Let us pressurise our leaderships to look beyond the tip of their noses.

Regards

Pratap 
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